2021 has been a huge year for e-commerce growth, as the COVID-19 pandemic drove customers into their homes and onto online stores. In Q2, from April through June, Americans spent $200.72 billion with online retailers, an increase of 44.4% from Q2 of 2019. In fact, e-commerce has become so popular that $1 was spent online for every $5 total spent in the consumer economy.
The rise of online shopping this year means your E-Commerce business likely grew and, as a result, your brand may be facing some growing pains. Don’t worry, by following a few of these key updates, you can become a large and thriving e-commerce brand.
Check your site plugins and widgets
If you use a WordPress site (or employ plugins and other tools within your CMS), you need a development team that is able to regularly update these tools and make sure they work well together. Oftentimes, launching one tool can cause another to crash unexpectedly, while outdated tools can slow a website and create a poor user experience.
Start each year with a plugin audit. Review what you actually need and make changes to optimize your e-commerce performance. It’s better to have 30 plugins that all work well together than 10 broken and conflicting tools. Taking the simple steps of removing an unused plugin or updating the Shopify API can have a big impact on your site.
Invest in application integration
As your e-commerce brand grows, you are likely to invest in new tools and applications that increase productivity. Shopify, for example, has attracted a variety of software systems that are meant to add features and improve the experience. APIs work to ensure that these tools work well together and work with your other systems as well.
Evaluate the current application integration within your e-commerce processes and consider whether you need to improve your implementation efforts. An enterprise application integration tool may be able to help various apps, whether private apps or public apps communicate with each other.
Make sure your vendors can scale with you
While you are reviewing your e-commerce technical systems, consider the agreements that you have with outside vendors to cover your digital marketing efforts, SEO, data analytics, and third-party listings. Are these partners able to scale with you and grow as demand for your products increases? Are these partners charging you a fair amount for the business you bring them?
If your contract is up with these companies, or you don’t have a contract to keep you locked in, then It may be time to consider working with new agencies or sources that can better meet your inventory quantity needs.
Identify upgrades for customer usability
Usability is a keystone of e-commerce success. While you might be able to bring customers to your website with a few interesting products, they likely won’t return if you give them a bad experience. Studies have found that 88% of customers are less likely to return to a website after a bad user experience, while 85% of people think a company’s mobile website should be just as good as its desktop option.
Evaluate the usability of your pages and what your customers see, from your URLs to product variants. A few small changes to how people engage with your content can increase your conversion rate while growing the number of return customers (and therefore the profitability) to your business.
While you may be enjoying the success of growth for your e-commerce brand, it is important to stay on top of your web services technology and systems so your website works at its best. Consider the API integration of the various systems and business processes you currently have in place as you look to make upgrades in 2021.